Category Archives: Maps

Myanmar People Groups

The Joshua Project has done extensive research on Christian outreach into various countries around the world.  Click on this link to access their Myanmar research.  Here is a screen from their website:

Joshua Project

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Burma from the Sky

I have shown maps of Burma on this website.  I would like to teach you how you can look at satellite pictures of Burma.

1.  Open Google and click on maps.  I have circled it in blue.

2.  Click on the satellite choice on the right side of the screen.  It is circled in blue.

3.  Find the zoom tool (circled in blue) and click it once or twice to see how it makes the map larger or smaller.

4.  Put your cursor on the satellite image (United States), hold the left mouse button down and drag the mouse to the right.   This will move your satellite image west toward the Pacific Ocean.

5. Do this a second time and you should be able to center Myanmar in your map.

6.  Use the zoom tool to magnify the portion of Burma (Myanmar) you wish to view.  It will enlarge to show you details of your previous village.  Enjoy!

The Stories of Knaw Bawk and Roi Ji

Story of Knaw Bawk

Knaw Bawk  [Nah Baw] grew up in a Christian home. His mother and father were believers in Jesus. His father was a Burmese soldier. His home in the Kachin province has a strong Christian presence, at one time that province was 100% Christian. This is now problematic with a junta dictatorship whose stated purpose is to have one language, one country and one religion, Buddhism.

 Knaw Bawk attended elementary and high school in Myitkyina his home town (marked with an “A” on the map). During his early years, his family feared for the safety of his older sister so she sought refuge at the Australian embassy and relocated there almost 26 years ago. Knaw Bawk attended college after high school completing four years while still living in the Kachin state.

During his young years Knaw Bawk began music lessons and learned to play the piano and violin. As a young man he and his friends played music for different local and regional events and activities. Even though Knaw Bawk was young in his Christian faith, he took a stand that led flight from Myanmar. It seems their village had completed the construction of a new Buddhist temple. A village leader came to him and asked him to play the violin for a folk festival that included a dedication ceremony of the temple. Knaw Bawk refused on religious grounds. The leader came to him a second and third time. The third time she said she could no longer assure his safety. With such a not-so-veiled threat Knaw Bawk knew he had to leave.

So in 2004 he traveled with a Kachin businessman south, to the Chin province of Burma and then west to the India border trading town, called Tia. After a couple of months, he moved to New Delhi, India where he began an 8 year exile. While in New Delhi he became active in the “All Kachin Student and Youth Union”. He took a job as a journalist working with the Mizzima news organization (www.mizzima.com). He translated stories from English into Burmese for ex-patriot Burmese who lived in India and elsewhere.

Meanwhile back in Myanmar, Knaw Bawk’s mother and younger brother had to also flee the Kachin province. They were accepted as refugees in Japan. While his aging father and younger sister were able to remain in Myitkyina.  At this time this sister is in a refugee camp on the border of Kachin and China and the father is at home.

A bright joy came into Knaw Bawk’s life when he met Roi Ji for the first time in 2003 in New Delhi, India. They began dating, about the same time Knaw Bawk sensed a call to ministry. He began pastoring, while still working as a journalist, and started Bible College. He graduated in 2007 and the family (for now they had a son) received news that they had been accepted as refugees to the United States.

When Knaw Bawk’s family first came to the U.S. they were settled in New York City. They stayed there 3 weeks and with the encouragement of High Point friends relocated to the Triad. They said they like High Point, the climate and atmosphere is closer to their home state and this is where they want to be. Knaw Bawk is now the preacher of our Burmese language service, he is 36 years old and works at a local factory. Their son, Samuel attends the Stanley preschool on Brentwood and Roi Ji works at High Point University.

Story of Roi Ji.

 Roi Ji  [Reggie] left the Kachin state of Myanmar at age 26. She has two brothers and two sisters. She grew up in Burma, received her elementary, high school and college education before fleeing the country.

After college Roi Ji got a job with World Concern (NGO). The task of her team was to educate villagers regarding HIV. They would travel to different towns and talk about the prevention of this disease. During such discussions they would encourage women to oppose sexual harassment, promiscuity and teach them to avoid rape where they could be endangered with HIV.

One village they visited had a large military base nearby. The commandant of the village built a local bar complete with music videos, free-flowing liquor and beautiful women. While visiting that village Roi Ji spoke out against the sexual harassment and even rape associated with this bar. The next day the NGO team moved on to another village with their training sessions,  but the villagers burned the bar to the ground.

Government military investigators went to Roi Ji’s home and to her World Concern leaders making inquiries about her. Her supervisor at World Concern said, we are non-partisan, we can’t help you, you need to leave. Roi Ji had to flee her home country. She traveled through Tia to New Delhi to start life as a exile from Burma.

While in New Delhi she took a position as the leader of the “Burmese Women of New Delhi”. Then she met Knaw Bawk and their story continues together.

I invite you to meet this highly educated couple, they understand English at 90-95%, Knaw Bawk has a lot of insight and wisdom and Roi Ji’s British accent is delightful.

Myanmar Maps

I have noticed a lot of “hits” on my blog for people who wanted to look at maps for Myanmar (Burma).    Let me give you a suggestion on how you can do some of this look up yourself.

Open Google maps by clicking here.    Then in the top search box type  “Myanmar”.   Use the slider bar on the right to magnify a section of the map and also you can put your curser on the map and drag it to a better view.

On the upper right of the map image there is a button (box) that says “Map”, click on it to see a drawing.  Click again to see the satellite images overlaid with labels.

If you have a printer attached to your computer you can print what you see on the screen.

Here is a link to a tutorial on how to do this.

They traveled from a Far Country

Clement and Mary have been in the US for a few months.   They have not yet landed jobs.  We went and saw Christmas lights together the other night.  Clement tells me he completed university training in Myanmar before fleeing the country.   Clement is fluent in English and his wife does very well with this new language as well.

Clement and Mary, December 2010

Clement and Mary are from Mindat which is in the southwest corner of the Chin state of Myanmar.

Burma with Chin state captioned

Myanmar in context, between India and China

Where was your home?

Some of our refugees are from the Chin State in Myanmar.  Below is an image of that region. You can do more exploring at Google Maps under Satellite images.

On the map you can see a highway that starts in the bottom right corner and moves toward the center and then up the state.  In the bottom right is Mandat.  We have one couple in High Point from that region.  In the bottom center is Ma Tu Pi.  We have several families from that region.  In the top center is Hahka, the majority of our Chin families are from this region.  This state is in the central west side of the country of Myanmar.

Maps of Burma

Here are a couple of maps of Myanmar to help you see where the High Point Burmese people lived:

This is a detailed map of the Karen (Kayin) State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more detailed maps, I would encourage you to go to google.com and load Google earth.

 

Life Story: Phon Shin

Phon Shin and his wife Zisar are from the northernmost reach of Burma.   They lived near the northern border of the Kachin state which is sandwiched between China and India.  The Kachin state is rich with natural resources like jade, gold and uranium.  Phon is from Puta-O, other Kachin in our church are from the capital city, Myitkyina.  Phon Shin and Zisar speak the Rawang language.  It is one of 6 Kachin languages.   Zisar can read some English and both can understand a lot of English and converse with Americans.

Puta-0 is near the top, Myitkyina is near center

Phon fled his family’s farm nine years ago after being conscripted to porter massive payloads of rice at age 17.  He was not able to carry the loads and so he left this unpaid position.  Thereafter the army came to his village to solicit bribes and taxes to pay for his leaving their service.  He had to flee southward from Burma to Malaysia.   He has had little contact with his father and 10 year old sister, since the father has to travel one weeks journey by car to get to a telephone.  In 2002 his mother died and a few years ago his 20 year old sister escaped the dangers of a wanton army attacking it’s own citizens by also fleeing to Malaysia.

Phon Shin met Zisar in Malaysia.   Zisar’s family are also farmers.   She has 2 brothers and 3 younger sisters.   It has been one year since she talked with her parents who remain in Kachin, Burma.  They have one child, Noa Mi Sar.

Phon Shin worked as a cook in a Chinese food restaurant while in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  They had to apply for refugee status with the U.N. and then await assignment to a region in the United States.

Flash Forward>>

Here is their picture:

Phon Shin & Zisar with baby Noa Mi Sar

Chin State is Center of Wesleyan Work

This week I talked with H. C. Wilson, head of Global Partners for the Wesleyan denomination  and he said that he had just visited the town of Kalay in the Chin state of Burma (see second met, the very top).  He said that is the headquarters for the Wesleyan work in Myanmar.  Our denomination’s Myanmar district has 58 churches, and a large medical clinic.  The largest church numbers 800.   I was talking with Vena, one of our parishioners in High Point,  and he said he has an uncle and cousins that are all a part of that Wesleyan work.

Here are two maps, the first locates the Chin state in Burma.  Notice it shares a western border with India and Bangaladesh.  The second map is a close up of the Chin state with labels of key regions and language groups that are a part of our First Wesleyan Church.  Biak is from the Hahka region, Peng Len is from the Matupi region, and Vena is from the Mizo region.Myanmar c Chin LabelChin State c Labels

Karenni (Kayah) Families Arrive!

MapBurma is a large country with many states and regions.   In the last couple of months we have had arrivals from yet another region of Burma, the Kayah area.  We now have three households, about 12 people from this region.   On the attached map you will see highlighted regions represented among the Burmese in High Point attending our church.  The Kayah area is in blue, it is just above the Karen region.  The Kayah people are also called Karenni which means red Karen.

Refugee Camps

At First Wesleyan Church we have refugees from three different states of Burma.  The majority are from the Chin and Karen states.  Most of the refugees from the Karen [Caw Rin, put accent on second syllable] state of Burma lived in refugee camps in Thailand prior to emigrating to the United States   Here is a picture of the camps closest to the Karen state, across the border in Thailand.  To learn more about the plight and status of Burmese refugees do a Google search on the subject.  As always cross check from various  sources, what you read on the web to make sure it is true.

Another State of Burma

Ywa Hay Thar

Ywa Hay Thar

Yesterday I met two new people who are from Burma.   Ywa Hay Thar is a 24 year old man who arrived yesterday.  He communicates well in English and is living on Marlboro Street (High Point) with two other Burmese roommates.   It was a privilege to say, “Welcome”, to strike up a friendship and try to help him get used to being with Americans.

I also met “Molly”.  She has been here for awhile, living in Greensboro and just moved to High Point to live in the William and Mary apartments on Hamilton St.  Molly is a single parent mother.  She is the first person I met from a different state in Burma.   Most of our people have been from the Karen and Chin regions but Molly is from Shan.   Shan borders China and so many of the Burmese people of that state are Chinese.

In the map you will find the Chin state on the far left, bordered by India and Pakistan.  On the lower far right is the Kayin state  (where most of the Karens live).  It is bordered by Thailand.  Two states above is the Shan State.   Most of the people of Shan are Buddhist.  About 35% of the Karen are Christians and about 85% of the Chin are Christians.

In the Kachin State (far north) they are almost 100% Christian.  Overall the country of Burma is still 85% Buddhist.

They blew up that cross.

It happened in the village of Mateipi in the Chin province (state) of Burma.   The Christians had erected a concrete cross on the top of the mountain in testimony to their faith in God and His importance in their lives.   But in 2005 the Burmese military came in and began to tear down all vestiges of Christianity.  Because of the isolation of these villages a number of things took place that were harmful to the people.

When the military decided to dynamite the cross, the Christians elders called people to prayer.  Eventually the charge was placed but because of fear a single soldier was conscripted to fire the dynamite.  The  soldier was injured by the blast and eventually died.  And the once vital free Chin province suffered another setback.

However the faith of the Christians, now being tested by the government was not destroyed by a blasting cap.    God has brought some of them to America (High Point), others are worshipping more secretly now, and God’s kingdom will come to pass on earth as it is in heaven!

The folks that attend our church are from the Chin state on the left and the Karen state on the right side of the map.

India, China, Lao and Thailand border Burma.

There are many Christians in these states and the Kachin state is nearly 100% Christian.